Isaiah

Who hath believed our report?

Take thee a great roll, and write on it with a man’s pen

 

Isaiah, who lived about 700 years before the time of Jesus, gave a word picture of Jesus, the One who would be the sacrifice for mankind, the Messiah.

Isaiah 53:1 Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?

2 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.

3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.

4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

6 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

8 He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

9 And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.

11 He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

 

It is notable that Isaiah began with “who hath believed our report?” and follows that with “and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?”

There is a causual relationship between believing the report and having the arm of the Lord revealed.

The truth of God’s Word, the truth of Jesus, is revealed to those who believe…not to those who scoff.  Scoffers and mockers and doubters self-select themselves out of experiencing a relationship with God.

In anything in life, there are those who have a cursory, or beginning or scanty knowledge, and those who understand the significance of the details.  This applies in any field:  farming, fishing, husbandry of any kind, construction, homemaking, sports.  Details matter.

Not only do details matter, but those who really know the topic, those who have the “inside knowledge” and experience, understand why you would use, for example, one tool over another in a particular situation, or why you would use, for example, a particular fishing rod and bait over another in a particular situation.  Outsiders remain clueless.

A good example is sports.   Someone who knows football understands what the different players are doing and why.   They follow the strategy.   To someone who doesn’t know the game, players are simply throwing an odd-shaped ball around the field.

Likewise, someone who has no understanding of Jesus and his redemptive work, who has not  yet been born again, can miss the point.

For example, take communion.  Communion is one of the sacraments of the church.  Correctly approached, it is a means whereby the very life and healing of the Lord Jesus Christ can flow into a person.

But for those who don’t grasp what is going on, “not discerning the Lord’s body”, who don’t discern the fact “by whose stripes ye were healed”, it is simply a ceremony.  Not accessing the inner spirit and power, many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

I Corinthians 11:29 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body.

30 For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.

I Peter 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.

 

This was the Apostle Paul’s advice to Timothy in such a situation.

II Timothy 3:5  having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!

 


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The Leap to Experience

 

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How can you have faith in a God you cannot see?  How can you experience God?

Words can only point to an experience.   How can someone, for example, describe the smell of coffee?   The only way would be to sit a person down, and say, “I am going to open a can of coffee grounds, and when you smell it, that is the smell of coffee.”  There really is no way to describe the smell of coffee, but to lead a person to the experience, where ultimately, the person must experience the smell of coffee for himself or herself.

How does a child learn to ride a bike?  A parent may hold the child on the bike for a little while he or she is learning, the parent might catch the child if he or she begins to fall, the parent might tell the child to sit up straight and try to give some hints, but the child has to “catch” the experience himself or herself and learn to balance and pedal at the same time.

A teacher can try to organize the material, give some examples, but the student has to have the “light bulb” moment when the knowledge catches on.

And so it is with God and faith.  Apologetics and those who work in that discipline can give you the historical facts.  Archeologists can confirm Biblical history.

You can learn of the fulfilled prophecies in the Old Testament that point to Christ.  The prophet Micah said he would be born in Bethlehem.  Jesus was born in Bethlehem.  The prophet Isaiah described the redemptive work of Christ in Isaiah 53.  Many other prophecies were fulfilled in the life of Jesus Christ.

Like the various aids and hints on riding a bike, the scriptures, the testimonies, the law helps guide a person to the reality of Jesus Christ.

Galatians 3:23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

 

Isaiah 9:2 The people that walked in darkness have seen a great light: they that dwell in the land of the shadow of death, upon them hath the light shined.

Matthew 4:16 The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up.

 

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

2 The same was in the beginning with God.

3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.

4 In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.

7 The same came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all men through him might believe.

8 He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.

9 That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.

10 He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.

11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:

13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

15 John bare witness of him, and cried, saying, This was he of whom I spake, He that cometh after me is preferred before me: for he was before me.

16 And of his fulness have all we received, and grace for grace.

17 For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

18 No man hath seen God at any time, the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

19 And this is the record of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, Who art thou?

20 And he confessed, and denied not; but confessed, I am not the Christ.

21 And they asked him, What then? Art thou Elias? And he saith, I am not. Art thou that prophet? And he answered, No.

22 Then said they unto him, Who art thou? that we may give an answer to them that sent us. What sayest thou of thyself?

23 He said, I am the voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make straight the way of the Lord, as said the prophet Esaias.

24 And they which were sent were of the Pharisees.

25 And they asked him, and said unto him, Why baptizest thou then, if thou be not that Christ, nor Elias, neither that prophet?

26 John answered them, saying, I baptize with water: but there standeth one among you, whom ye know not;

27 He it is, who coming after me is preferred before me, whose shoe’s latchet I am not worthy to unloose.

28 These things were done in Bethabara beyond Jordan, where John was baptizing.

29 The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

30 This is he of whom I said, After me cometh a man which is preferred before me: for he was before me.

31 And I knew him not: but that he should be made manifest to Israel, therefore am I come baptizing with water.

32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him.

33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost.

34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.

 


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Kicking the Can Down the Road

The art Bible, comprising the Old and new Testaments - with numerous illustrations (1896) (14596347188)

Gertrude C. Marks ?Internet Archive Book Images, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons

 

I’ve always had a bit of a problem with this verse.  Does anyone else see what I see in it?

Isaiah 39:8  (KJV) Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the Lord which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days.

 

Well, maybe you don’t see the problem until I put it in context.

Let’s put it in context.  Isaiah had just received some visitors from Babylon.  He showed them all the temple treasures.  The visitors were probably thinking, thank you very much, we’ll be back to get those. 

Here’s the story.  (WEB)

Isaiah 39:1   At that time, Merodach Baladan the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present to Hezekiah; for he heard that he had been sick, and had recovered. 2 Hezekiah was pleased with them, and showed them the house of his precious things, the silver, the gold, the spices, and the precious oil, and all the house of his armor, and all that was found in his treasures. There was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah didn’t show them. 3 Then Isaiah the prophet came to king Hezekiah, and asked him, “What did these men say? From where did they come to you?”

Hezekiah said, “They have come from a country far from me, even from Babylon.”

4 Then he asked, “What have they seen in your house?”

Hezekiah answered, “They have seen all that is in my house. There is nothing among my treasures that I have not shown them.”

5 Then Isaiah said to Hezekiah, “Hear the word of Yahweh of Armies: 6 ‘Behold, the days are coming when all that is in your house, and that which your fathers have stored up until today, will be carried to Babylon. Nothing will be left,’ says Yahweh. 7 ‘They will take away your sons who will issue from you, whom you shall father, and they will be eunuchs in the king of Babylon’s palace.’”

8 Then Hezekiah said to Isaiah, “Yahweh’s word which you have spoken is good.” He said moreover, “For there will be peace and truth in my days.”

 

In that context, let’s reflect on this verse.

Isaiah 39:8  (KJV) Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the Lord which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days.

 

Isaiah, the prophet, just told Hezekiah that the Lord said that as a result of Hezekiah showing all the treasures to the visitors from Babylon, that one day the Babylonians would take those treasures from Jerusalem, to Babylon, which did happen.  Also, Hezekiah’s sons would be enslaved and made eunuchs.

The book of Daniel was written by Daniel, who was taken into captivity at the time that Babylon conquered Jerusalem.  At that time, the people of the tribe of Judah, which also included those of the tribe of Benjamin, were taken to Babylon.  Only a remnant of the people were left in land and not removed to Babylon.

Daniel 1:1   In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. 2 The Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God; and he carried them into the land of Shinar to the house of his god. He brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.

3 The king spoke to Ashpenaz the master of his eunuchs, that he should bring in some of the children of Israel, even of the royal offspring and of the nobles; 4 youths in whom was no defect, but well-favored, and skillful in all wisdom, and endowed with knowledge, and understanding science, and who had the ability to stand in the king’s palace; and that he should teach them the learning and the language of the Chaldeans. 5 The king appointed for them a daily portion of the king’s dainties, and of the wine which he drank, and that they should be nourished three years; that at its end they should stand before the king.

 

Having established the history and story line, here is the verse again.

Isaiah 39:8  (KJV) Then said Hezekiah to Isaiah, Good is the word of the Lord which thou hast spoken. He said moreover, For there shall be peace and truth in my days.

 

If I were to put it into today’s street vernacular, it might go like this.

You know what?  Hey, that’s great, bro.  It ain’t happening in my day,   It ain’t happening to me.  So I’m okay.  So I ain’t gonna worry about it.  I’m gonna have peace.  Peace out.

In other words, Hezekiah really didn’t care about what was going to happen to Jerusalem or to his posterity…to his sons, to his grandsons and beyond.  There was going to be peace and truth in his day.  That was enough for Hezekiah.

Sorta selfish and self-centered, don’t you think?

In political terms, it is called “kicking the can down the road”.  People know they are creating problems that they are leaving to their children and grandchildren, but they don’t care.  They just hope they die soon enough that they don’t have to experience the consequences of what they created either through active engagement or through slothfulness and laziness and complacency.

Where this attitude exists, there needs to be a course correction.

John 15:13  Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

I Timothy 5:8  A man must care for his own people. At least he must care for his family. If he does not care for them, he shows that he does not believe in God. He is worse than one who has never believed.

Postnote

I have to add this as there is a definite attempt on the part of certain schools of thought to try to say that the book of Daniel was written after the fact.  However, Jesus referred to the book of Daniel, so it is trustworthy.

Mark 13:14 (KJV) But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand,) then let them that be in Judaea flee to the mountains:

Mark 13:14 But when you see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains,

Mark 13:14 ‘And when ye may see the abomination of the desolation, that was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (whoever is reading let him understand), then those in Judea, let them flee to the mountains;

 

There are those who might say, what is this about, why does it matter?  The reason it matters is because the book of Daniel has been very accurate historically, so there are people who want to say it was written “after the fact” rather than that a prophet of God heard the Lord.  Atheists want to diss (dismiss) prophecies.  If they accept them, the mathematical odds against atheism and the views of atheism are overwhelming.  So they have to pretend that facts don’t exist in order to push atheistic lies and agendas on society.  (This is why apologetics matter.  Apologetics deal in facts.)  Certain groups, including the CIA and warmongers, would like to tilt the prophecies a certain direction in order to take society a certain direction, and they try to convince certain segments of Christiandom to back them.  When you understand the game, you understand how not to play it.  Some day you’ll get it.

 

 

 

 


A blog post can only introduce a topic, but not cover it in depth. For more study on various topics, click here for links to Christian bookstores and other Christian sites.

The link above will take you to links to sites that teach on faith, prayer, confession, healing and more. They have church services, podcasts, bookstores, and further resources and teaching.
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